Vintage at Southbank

(pic courtesy of

On Friday I went to Vintage at Southbank and had a totally wonderful day. Mostly the day was spent chatting and spending more money than I have (all good in my book!). I went wearing one of my fave Horrockses frocks, and throughout the day numerous people asked me about my dress. I had my picture taken more times than I can count!

I did spend an insane amount of time at the Horrockses bed linen stand chatting to the lovely designer Sarah and also showing Chris Boydell what I had been purchasing since I last met her! More to come on the Horrockses bed linen in another post though…

Anyway, I just wanted to show off my purchases. I somehow managed to be quite restrained!

First off this lovely little 50’s bracelet, right up my street!

Then was this lovely ¾ length sleeved dress, I love the striped print, and I can see this being one of my more winter suitable dresses, worn with nice thick tights and a vest underneath.

Then I bough two pairs of shoes. The black pair are in need of reheeling, but the brown pair still have their original box!

And finally I bought this AMAZING dress.It’s by the brand Blanes who are one of my favourite brands of the 50’s and 60’s, and I actually can’t believe I got this dress. Last year at Goodwood I saw the dress and I was desperate to buy it, but at the time I had no job and no money, and decided that it was just out of my price range. When I saw it again on Friday I couldn’t quite believe my luck. Of all time dresses under the label “ones that got away” this is the second most regret I have ever felt about buying a dress. When I saw it I’m not joking I got a bit choked up. He remembered me from Goodwood last year too! The best thing of all about this dress is the fit. It is possibly one of the best fitting pieces of vintage I own, and I can’t quite get over the fact its mine! I think this might have to be the dress I wear for afternoon tea on my 21st! I am so happy, I can’t quite believe it.

I really did have an amazing day, but I have to say in terms of the atmosphere it wasn’t as good as Goodwood last year. The problem was a lot to do with peoples attitude. I feel that last year people had really made the effort to dress up and make a real day out of it, where as this year it was more or less just an opportunity to shop. I also felt that this year it was too focused on the young. Most people there were in the 18-25 age bracket I would say, and I didn’t feel like it catered so well to an older clientele like I felt last year the festival had. I felt this was a lot to do with the fact that the vintage marketplace was free and therefore not attracting the same kind of people who were actually interested in vintage.

I did also have quite a lot of issues with what was on sale. I picked up some pieces I loved but yet AGAIN it was a fair dominated with poor quality 1980’s rubbish, and slightly tacky vintage repro pieces. Unfortunately it is this type of vintage that is diluting the whole meaning of vintage. The word vintage suggests a certain sense of QUALITY and finesse, yet more and more vintage I see can be seen as nothing more than poor quality second-hand clothing.

6 thoughts on “Vintage at Southbank

  1. How wonderful you found your dress! The shoes too, I was disappointed not to find many shoes or bags at the festival (although did well for frocks and skirts). I clicked through to your blog from the BBC H&A site as I loved the dress you are wearing in the photo on there. Funnily enough I wrote a post recently lamenting the rise of '80s fashion in particular as "vintage" after a poor "vintage" fair we attended at Ewell. Hen x

  2. Yes, i was very happy with the shoes, and only £20 for the two pairs! I only take a size 3 normally, so i tend to find vintage shoes, especially 40's (although these are probably late 50's) are often a good fit for me.

  3. one of my fave things about the 50s is their novelty print dresses, the one you bought is a beauty!can't say i like the infiltration of vintage replicas either, you can't beat an original for both individuality and quality.Alison x

  4. Thats a beautiful dress, no doubt.I just wanted to make you aware of the situation at Southbank. I have been trading in Vintage and Retro clothing for many years. I would love to set up a lovely big stall and sell 1940s and 1950s, but alas, I cannot. I paid the best part of £3000 for my stall at Southbank. Yes, £1000 a day to trade. I did pretty well and was very happy with the outcome, however, nearly half of my income that weekend came from sunglasses. 1980s deadstock sunglasses selling for £5 a pair. Now, I considered not taking these as I thought they were a bit tacky myself, but I am glad I did. You see, whilst I fully support your right to an opinion, I hope you can understand that traders do this for a living, not a laugh (mostly). We need to take what sells and if that happens to be 80s or even a 90s line, then that is what we will get in order to pay the bills and the mortgage. I just felt to comment to get the other side across. Love your blog, keep up the good work x

  5. Thank you for your comment. I'm currently in the process of writing up a new blog post all about this topic. In the last 3 or so months my opinion has really been changed on this topic, and I've become much more "each to their own" and If it makes you money, why not? Attitude. This is through my own experiences as a seller and also as a buyer. I've always been very romantic about vintage and this is where all my airy fairy notions tend to come from and what I like to see. But, when it comes down to it, it is still a money making venture, and this I can totally understand and

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